Innovation or forward planning: The unique achievements of the Belgian Paul Otlet (1868–1944)

Paul Otlet, the man behind the establishment of the International Office of Bibliography in 1895, was one of the great figures of early-twentieth-century library science. His achievements and ambitions are still strikingly modern. He was a firm believer in social humanism and the human ideal: part of his ambitions for mankind were realised with the help of his friend Henri La Fontaine, who helped him set up the Universal Bibliographic Repertory and Universal Decimal Classification, still in widespread use. The Mundaneum reflects the vitality of his thought and his prescient vision of many of the achievements made possible by the World Wide Web.